Report: Social Donors Less Dedicated to the Cause

A report from the mobile donation platform OneCause finds that while donations for social reasons—whether at physical events or in digital campaigns—are low-friction, those donations don’t drive lots of engagement.

Like other donor audiences, social donors—those who give through event-based and peer-to-peer fundraising—have unique giving behaviors, motivators, and engagement preferences.

A new report from the mobile fundraising firm OneCause found that, with social donations, nearly 40 percent of donors are giving to a nonprofit for the first time, and often know little about the cause before showing their support. In fact, the report finds that 51 percent of social donors are often vaguely familiar with the cause, at best.

But even with the knowledge gap clear, the report also highlights the number-one reason why social donors are motivated to give: because its easy to do. The report found that 81 percent of donors considered the process of donating to a charity through peer-to-peer mediums very easy.

The report noted that generally it was the cause itself, rather than the specific nonprofit behind it, that led to a donation. The donation was often driven by their existing networks of friends and colleagues—something the firm cited as important to driving social donations in the future.

“The importance of an easy giving experience, leveraging social networks, and communicating impact are central to increasing retention and conversion with social donors,” Kelly Velasquez-Hague, OneCause’ vice president of donor engagement strategy, said in a news release.

That said, the firm did say that there were plenty of opportunities to build upon social donors and turn them into more dedicated fans. For one thing, engagement before and after an event—especially in the form of thank-you notes and information on how the donation was making an impact—was important, and one-time donors were more likely to become regular donors if they received regular communication from a nonprofit they donated to.

“Event donors are the most familiar with your mission and likely to become regular donors,” the report states. “But conversion starts before the event ever takes place.”

(sorbetto/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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